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What is red yeast rice?

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Quick Answer

Red yeast rice is a substance that results from fermenting red yeast over rice. Specifically, the kind of yeast used is called Monascus purpureus yeast. Red yeast rice is predominantly used in China.

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Full Answer

Red yeast rice is used in alternative medicine as a preservative and as a food dye. In terms of health benefits, it is purported to reduce cholesterol, remedy poor circulation and aid in digestion. Naturally occurring substances called monocolins are said to be responsible for red yeast rice's health benefits and are proven to inhibit cholesterol production in the body. There are, however, some risks involved in using red yeast rice, as it can interact with other drugs. It is always wise to consult a physician before taking any new supplement.

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